Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – July 27, 2012

It seems like Sarah Palin will never learn that silence is golden. That must be why she felt the need to share her impoverished opinion on the recent carnage in Aurora, Colorado. And speaking of Aurora, during the inevitable debate on gun control that ignites after every gun massacre, a factoid arose that is fascinating – there are more licensed gun dealers than McDonald’s outlets. And finally, John Sununu, a surrogate for Mitt Romney, tells us that President Obama should learn to act like an American. Can you say dog whistle?

And Exactly Who Asked Sarah?

One could only hope that after the Tucson Massacre in 2011 Sarah Palin would have had the good judgment to be quiet. After all, her website had put a rifle scope target on the office of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and then the congresswoman was shot in the head. The nastiness of the coincidence would be enough to shame most people into silence. But, of course, Sarah Palin is not most people.

In speaking about the carnage in Colorado Sarah Palin came out against gun control claiming that laws would not prevent “evil people” from getting guns and killing more people. While it is clear that the NRA and legions of gun lovers would agree with Ms. Palin, one has to wonder why it makes sense to make it easy, and legal, for “evil people”, to buy guns.

The alleged perpetrator in Aurora broke no laws in purchasing an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and an automatic pistol along with 6000 rounds of ammunition. It is beyond troubling that Sarah Palin, the NRA and their legions of supporters don’t have a problem with that narrative.
And it is that kind of illogic that guarantees that Aurora will not be the last venue listed on the blood soaked national roll call of tragedy.

Do You Want Fries With That?

Fact 1 – There are 123,000 licensed gun dealers in the United States. Fact 2 – There are 13,381 McDonald’s outlets in the United States. Incredibly, it appears that America loves guns more than burgers and fries.
Interesting in that a steady diet at McDonald’s will probably kill you over time. On the other hand, guns will get the job done right away.

And we know how much Americans love speed.

Can You Say Dog Whistle?

An old political trick, honed to perfection in the South, has been to put forth an offensive stratagem coded in such a way that the targeted constituency understands but the general public won’t “get it”. This has been called the “dog whistle” strategy – a message sent out on a frequency that only your audience hears.

The entire birther controversy surrounding President Obama is of the dog whistle variety. Few people seriously think that he was not born in the United States, but the birther narrative allows idiots from Donald Trump to Rush Limbaugh to decry Barack Obama as being the “other” – that is black.

Now John Sununu, acting as a surrogate for Mitt Romney after a failed political career of his own, stated that Barack Obama “needs to learn how to be an American”. Aside from trying to figure out what the hell it means to be an American in Sununu speak, it is clear that the Romney camp wants to be certain that every white voter remembers that the president is black – the other, someone who needs to act like an American.

The thing about dog whistles though, it’s not only the dog that hears it.

Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s